Fibre optics and optical communications

Definition

Fibre optics and optical communications is the use of thin strands of glass for sending information encoded into light over long distances. Total internal reflection prevents light inserted into one end of the fibre from escaping through the sides. Transferring information optically in this way enables much higher transmission rates than using an electrical signal.

Latest Research and Reviews

News and Comment

  • Comments and Opinion |

    The creation of a global quantum network is now a realistic proposition thanks to developments in satellite and fibre links and quantum memory. Applications will range from secure communication and fundamental physics experiments to a future quantum internet.

    • Christoph Simon
    Nature Photonics 11, 678–680
  • News and Views |

    Applications of the concept of structured light are not limited to optical communications, metrology, and probing and sensing, they can also go beyond optics.

    • Rachel Won
    Nature Photonics 11, 619–622
  • News and Views |

    An innovative data transmission protocol that effectively makes an optical fibre link linear in its behaviour is shown to benefit high-speed, long-distance optical communication operating at high signal powers.

    • Antonio Mecozzi
    Nature Photonics 11, 537–539
  • News and Views |

    The realization of satellite-to-ground quantum cryptography would make quantum-secured communications possible on a global scale. Four recent breakthroughs suggest that this compelling capability could be achieved by the end of this decade.

    • Richard J. Hughes
    •  & Jane E. Nordholt
    Nature Photonics 11, 456–458